March/April 2018: First Looks: Apps for teaching

Looking for fresh ways to prepare students for an upcoming theory test? Need a new method to reinforce and build student confidence in any music-related topic? Consider using Heads Up or Kahoot. Heads up  Ellen DeGeneres introduced Heads Up for her show years ago, as it makes a terrific family game for holiday fun. The app comes with a va...
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Jan/Feb 2018: First Looks - Apps for teaching

Adult beginner piano students enroll in lessons because playing the piano has been on their bucket list for years. Coupled with their excitement comes a realization, though. They may be "masters" at their current profession, but, when sitting at the keyboard, adults become well aware of what they don't know. It's our job as teachers to help them de...
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Protecting passwords in 21st-century style

Do you panic when prompted to enter a password? It's virtually an impossible task to remember every password you create as most websites now require you to make an account and follow a specific set of rules for the username and a "strong" password.A high-tech guru who sensed my frustration with passwords advised me to keep things simple and wr...
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Apps for teaching: Tools for triggering creativity with pop music

Why integrate popular or "non-classical" music into piano lessons?Retain studentsIntegrating pop music into your curriculum can meet students "where they are." Encouraging them to learn what's on their Spotify or iTunes playlist may draw them to practicing more, which results in progress. Progress motivates, and will keep them on the bench.Develop ...
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Piano teaching programs reviewed: ArtistWorks and Meludia

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ArtistWorksOVERVIEW: Equipment needed: Computer, phone, or tablet with video recording capability; internet connection. Mac and Windows are supported.Pricing: Packages are $105 for 3 months, $179 for 6 months, and $279 for 12 months. Video lectures/ lessons, backing tracks, video exchanges and submissions, and theory course...
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Apps for teaching: Acing theory tests without theory books

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Much to my pleasure (and astonishment!), a number of my students signed up to take theory tests at the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) local festival. None of these students owns a theory book.The NFMC Bulletin provides an outline of concepts covered in each test level, as well as practice tests from prior years. From the online bull...
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Teaching with backing tracks

​Backing tracks (pre-recorded or automated instrumental accompaniments) are inherently motivational. Why? Because playing with a snazzy drum groove is simply more compelling than practicing with a metronome. Here are suggestions for integrating backing tracks into your curriculum to enhance technique, timing, and creativity—all at the same tim...
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Fear not the Machine: How Technology can Expand the Role of the Teacher

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Editor's note: In the November/December 2014 issue, Clavier Companion launched a series of articles addressing the future of piano teaching. This article is part of that series, which will continue in future issues.Susan, a teenage piano student, loved the music of pop star Katy Perry. Susan was especially fond of the song "Dark Horse," which ...
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YouTube piano tutorials: The Art of Teaching and Lypur

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OVERVIEWPrice: Free YouTube channels devoted to music education and beginning piano instructionSystems: Available on the web or through the iOS and Android YouTube appsEquipment: Any internet-connected deviceWebsite: youtube.com The Art of Teaching https://goo.gl/yLW5DA Lypur https://goo.gl/yJaubq PROS:The Art of Teaching: Succinct, expert ins...
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Collabara: A multifunctional program

Collabara: A multifunctional program
OverviewPrice: Free for instructors; varying student subscription tiers ranging from $3–$10 per student per monthSystems: Available on the web or through iOS and Android appsEquipment: Need internet-connected device with a built-in microphone and camera Website: collabramusic.com  Pros:• Streamlined, easy-to-navigate interface• Multiple possib...
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Lock in theory with iReal Pro

Developing technical skills builds strong players. Working through technical challenges can be more beneficial when combined with theory concepts and exponentially more engaging when locked into a groove.Fellow Clavier Companion contributor and improvisation specialist Bradley Sowash recommends developing scale playing with backing tracks that...
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Practicing with backing tracks

Most young musicians learn to play their instruments with peers in a student orchestra, concert band, or group class. Student pianists, on the other hand, because they typically practice and perform alone for many years may miss out on learning essential ensemble skills such as: Steady beat—keeping a steady pulse and avoiding pauses to fix notes; L...
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Piano teaching programs reviews: Practicia

OverviewPrice: Free for now. Subscription pricing will take effect when beta period ends, date and price to be determined.Technical Requirements: High-speed internet connections, iPhone or iPad. Android and desktop versions currently under development.Website: practicia.comCustomer support: Excellent communication via ...
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Piano teaching programs reviewed: Wolfie

OverviewPrice: Free zone or full premium access for $5.99/month (both student and teacher must purchase)Systems: Only available for the iPadEquipment: Any acoustic or digital piano; no cables or equipment necessaryWebsite: tonara.comPros​Large catalog and ability to scan any PDF score into the appNo extra equipment neededTeacher...
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Apps for teaching: Make it stick with Quizlet

Quizlet is an app that generates flash cards. These are not the traditional, last-century, paper flash cards. Once you set up an account, you can create customized sets of virtual flashcards with engaging study modes, and access them on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Most students are familiar with Quizlet because the app is frequently used in ...
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First Looks: Apps for Teaching

Paper leaves a trail, and usually the trail leads to the trash can. For that reason, I prefer to avoid paper and ink and offer virtual lesson assignment sheets. All my notes for student lessons are written in Pages, a word processor app similar to Word and available for all iOS devices. The notes are emailed as a PDF (portable document file) after ...
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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: eNovative Piano

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Overview:Subscription-based; there are a range of price plans for individual students, individual teachers, and institutions Technology required—Internet- connected computer, phone, tablet, PDF reader, Adobe Flash Website—www.enovativepiano.com Customer support includes online tutorial videos  Pros:Excellent pedagogical approach ...
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Piano Teaching Programs Reviewed: Simply Piano

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OVERVIEW: Three subscription options: 1 Month - $14.99 3 Months - $29.99 1 Year - $89.99 Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Requires iOS 9.0 or later and internet connection Optional: USB midi cable and Apple Camera Connection Kit for use with headphones Website: www.joytunes.com/simply-piano F...
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Playground Sessions

by Kristin Cahill OVERVIEW:• PRICE AND OPTIONS:-$9.99/month (billed annually); includes $20 in song credits -$17.99 for a single month; includes one free song -$269.99 lifetime membership; includes $40 in song credits *All subscriptions have full access to Playground software, community features (social media, leader boards), free Bootcam...
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Piano Marvel

OVERVIEWPrice:• Free for level 1 materials. Premium account ($15/month or $99/year) provides full access to all levels. • Some repertoire must be purchased in addition to the subscription. • The teacher and student both need subscriptions. Students are "linked" to teacher accounts upon subscription.  Technological Requirements:• MIDI...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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